Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

James Amster & Robert Moyer

James Amster was an interior decorator known for his traditional design style and his longstanding community involvement on the East Side. He died of leukemia on June 12, 1986, at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He was 77 years old and lived in Manhattan. His partner of 41 years was Robert Moyer (born 1915). Mr. Amster created the landmark Amster Yard, an enclave at 211 1/2 East 49th Street, which he developed in 1944. The yard began with a 19th-century tenement, a boarding house, a couple of shacks and a scarred piece of land. When Amster died in 1986, Moyer continued to live there until 1992 and he was the last tenant to leave. Previous tenants include: fashion designer Norman Norell, interior designer Billy Baldwin, sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and the firm SWID Towell. Architect Ted Sandier and artist Harold Sterner helped Amster in renovating the yard.

In 1967, Mike Wallace anchored the documentary CBS Reports: The Homosexuals. He told he was close friends with James Amster and Amster's male long-term companion, men whom Wallace later described as "a wonderful old married couple" and "both people that he admired".

More than a decade after moving out, in 2003, Robert K. Moyer returned at the age of 88 to the tranquil embrace of Amster Yard. He held his hand to his cheek in astonishment. ''My head is swimming,'' he said. ''I'm home.''

Mr. Moyer could see waiters dressed as French sailors and tureens full of pâté at a long-ago Bastille Day party. He could spy Jacqueline Kennedy stopping at the Greek Island handicraft store across the yard. He could point to the apartments of the designer Norman Norell and the decorator Billy Baldwin. He could envision the antique bottles that workers once dug up, testifying to the days when this spot was a way station on the Boston Post Road.

A party at the home of James Amster in New York City's famed Amster Yard complex. From left, the butler (with back to camera), James Amster, Marian Hall, Ruby Ross Wood (seated), Billy Baldwin, William Pahlman, and Elizabeth Draper. Although there are two chandeliers, note the narrow width of the room as evidenced by the placement. Photo: THE GREAT LADY DECORATORS by Adam Lewis.
James Amster created the landmark Amster Yard, an enclave at 211 1/2 East 49th Street, which he developed in 1944. His partner of 41 years was Robert Moyer. In 1967, Mike Wallace anchored the documentary The Homosexuals. He told he was close friends with James Amster and Amster's male long-term companion, men whom Wallace later described as "a wonderful old married couple" and "both people that he admired".

Amster Yard (interior)

Amster Yard (exterior)

The original entrance to Amster Yard, which James Amster, a prominent mid-20th century interior designer, transformed from a collection of old buildings that he bought in the 1940s. The Yard was Amster's home and office for many years. (Courtesy of New York School of Interior Design, Robert Moyer)

The long section of Amster Yard's L-shaped courtyard is made to appear even longer by a visual trick, a large mirror framed as an arch and suggested to James Amster by the legendary interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe. The mirror remains in the garden today. (Courtesy of New York School of Interior Design, Robert Moyer)

James Amster, who founded the Turtle Bay Association in 1957, in his lushly planted Amster Yard in the 1970s. Today Amster Yard, a New York City landmark, serves as the New York home of Spain's cultural organization, Instituto Cervantes. The courtyard, with the original iron grillwork shown here, is open to the public. (Courtesy of New York School of Interior Design, Robert Moyer)

Mostly, he could picture Mr. Amster. ''People would always say of Mr. Amster, 'He looks like a Spanish grandee,' '' Mr. Moyer recalled. ''If he were alive today, how pleased he'd be to see what this place has become.'' (In 2002 the Instituto Cervantes, a Spanish cultural organization that owns the property, dug up the midblock courtyard and demolished the little 19th-century buildings around it.)

Mr. Amster acquired, renovated and redesigned the Amster Yard. The result was a picturesque cluster of one- to four-story brick houses around an L-shaped garden courtyard filled with trees and shrubbery.

The buildings were turned into apartments, offices and stores. Mr. Amster used one as his own house, which was filled with his collection of Biedermeier furniture.

At one time, the yard was also the home of the designer Billy Baldwin and the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. In 1966, the yard was designated a city landmark.

Mr. Amster was born July 18, 1908, in Lynn, Mass. He studied painting and sculpture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Early in his career, he worked at Bergdorf Goodman, where he opened and managed the antiques and decorating department.

He opened his own design firm in 1938. His clients included hotels, shipbuilders and businesses in the United States and Central America. He redecorated the public rooms of the Pierre Hotel.

In the 50's, Mr. Amster founded the East 49th Street Association, which became the Turtle Bay Association. He was its president for many years and was chairman at his death.

He was also chairman of the Prescott Neighborhood House and the Prescott Nursery School, a day-care center at 247 East 53d Street, and was president of the Friends of Peter Detmold Park Foundation.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/12/obituaries/james-amster-77-decorator-dead.html

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3652602.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.


2016 LGBT Rainbow Awards

2016 Guidelines
2015 Winners

In the Spotlight

Top 100 Gay Novels List - Simple
Top 100 Gay Novels List - Wanted


Previous Appointments Visual Summary

Gay Themed Movie

Previous Appointments Visual Summary

The Inside Reader

Previous Appointments Visual Summary
Top 100 Inside Readers Novels

LGBT Fashion Designers

Previous Appointments Visual Summary

Check out my books

Gay Romance Challenge

Gay Commercial

Around the World

visited 20 states (8.88%)
Create your own visited map of The World

visited 15 states (30%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Gay Classics

Previous Appointments Visual Summary

Romance History

Previous Appointments Visual Summary

Main Tags

Characters: Alpha Males, Cinderfellas (from rags to riches...), Friends (with benefits), Multicultural Lovers, Pretty... Men! (hustlers) & Virgins (at least in one way)
Dream Lovers: Cowboys, Pirates & Sheikhs
Erotica (M/F)
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Futuristic, Historical & Paranormal
Length: Short Story, Novella & Novel
Men in Uniform: Cops / Detectives / PIs, Firefighters & Military
Non Conventional Lovers: Elves, Gods, Deity & Witches, Furry Lovers, Shapeshifters & Vampires
Otherwordly Lovers: Angels, Demons & Ghosts
Possible Futures: Apocalypse Now & Back to the Future
Relationships: Bondage / Submission, Breeches Rippers, Coming of Age, Disability, Gay for You, Male Pregnancy, May / December, Ménage a trois (or more...), Silver Romance & Twincest
Settings: Art World, College, Medical Romance, Office Affairs, Seasonal Romance, Show Business & Sports
Yaoi (manga)
From Movie to Novel (and viceversa)
Top 100 Gay Novels List

Secondary Tags

Artist: illustrator, painter, photographer, sculptor
Author: novelist, playwright, poet, screenwriter, writer
Dancer: dance, choreographer
Designer: architect, costumer, fashion designer, graphic designer, hairstylist, makeup artist, set designer, tailor
Director: director, stage director
Eccentric: aristocrat, art collector, drag queen, explorer, female impersonator, heir/heiress, hostess, lover, muse, prostitute, socialite, spy, survivor
Essayist: anthropologist, archivist, biologist, columnist, critic, editor, educator, historian, journalist, lecturer, librarian, linguistic, philosopher, professor, psychoanalyst, psychologist, psychotherapist, publisher, reporter, researcher, scholar, sexologist, sociologist, teacher, theorist
Leader: commander, emperor, judge, monarch, officer, politician, senator, statistician, warrior
Musician: arranger, composer, conductor, lyricist, pianist, singer, songwriter, violinist
Producer: producer, manager, entrepreneur

Preditors & Editors Poll

Amazon Profile

My Associate Amazon Store

Goodreads Profile

Top reviewer
Best reviewer
Top user
Top librarian
Most followed

Library Thing Helper Badgers

(Gold Medal) Helper for contributions to any area of LibraryThing
(Gold Medal) Common Knowledge for contributions to Common Knowledge
(Gold Medal) Work Combination for help maintaining LibraryThing's work system
(Silver Medal) Author Combination for help combining author names together
(Bronze Medal) Distinct authors for splitting homonymous authors into distinct authors


List of LGBT publishers (for reviews look the Tags section)
Detailed List

Ego Surfing

Who links me



Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings
Country Share

Country Share

Site Meter
Site Meter


All cover art, photo and graphic design contained in this site are copyrighted by the respective publishers and authors. These pages are for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Should anyone object to our use of these items please contact by email the LJ's owner.
This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
I'm associated with Amazon/USA Affiliates Programs.
Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. However, some books were purchased by the reviewer and not provided for free. For information on how a particular title was obtained, please contact by email the LJ's owner.

Latest Month

December 2021



Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow